by LEE ANN SANDWEISS
It takes confidence and a leap of faith to launch a new business in the midst of a pandemic, but Andrea Connolly and Olivia Hall say they had an abundance of both when they started Monstera Living, a redecorating, staging, and downsizing business, in September 2020.
Connolly and Hall became fast friends while working at French Lick Resorts, where Hall was the lead artist and muralist and Connolly worked in restaurant management. The two had kicked around the idea of one day combining their complementary skill sets and starting a business together.
“As soon as we started talking, it all started to click,” says Hall, 51, a native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
“We had vision boards with quotes, photos, even a dollar bill,” adds Connolly, 54, who hails from northwest Indiana. “Design would be a component of the business, but also other things that we felt people needed during the pandemic. We were confident that it would work itself out.”
The partners got their idea for the business’ name while Connolly was visiting Hall in Hawaii, where she lived for a time. “Monstera deliciosa is a species of tropical plant which grows abundantly in Hawaii and is recognizable for its massive, beautiful leaves,” Hall shares. “Hoosiers might not be as familiar with it, but it has leaves of distinctive design.”
Monstera Living’s slogan is “Design–Decorate– Declutter.” The company, which has a staff of seven, customizes its services based on client needs to create a more appealing and functional living or working space.
Connolly and Hall are also committed to giving back to the Bloomington community by providing “extreme makeovers” to nonprofit organizations, such as Amethyst House, a Bloomington-based agency that provides residential and outpatient services for people with drug and alcohol addiction. Working with grant money, donations, and a lot of creativity, Monstera Living has redone the kitchen, dining room, and offices, with the goal of renovating the whole house.
“Every year we want to do something that is from our heart,” says Connolly. “But basically, we are a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to add new life to their space.”
For more information, visit monsteraliving.com.